Orange County Register

Smith: Coach Rick Vanderhook Favors the Direct Approach

OMAHA, Neb. – He's a Brillo pad in a Cal State Fullerton baseball uniform, leading with his gut that has gotten him in trouble but also has gotten the rag-tag Titans back to the College World Series.

Rick Vanderhook isn't pretty or politically correct, nor does he try to be.

He's a baseball coach, a genius-meets-gruff one. He can be abrasive and, depending on who's judging and when, border on abusive.

He's rough looking, often 120-grit sandpaper unshaven, sun-blasted from the long season, tired- and wild-eyed but always beef-jerky tough.

Well, not always.

There's nothing artificially sweetened about him. He offers no apologies and knows who he is, faults and all. But that authenticity is what his players admire most about him. Continue reading.

more stories loaded below